10 things you might not know about Brighton Pier

Brighton Pier

The pier is the only one in Brighton still functioning - Credit: Unsplash/Tania Mousinho

Everyone in Sussex – and the UK – knows how wonderful Brighton’s Pier is. But these facts about it might come as a surprise to you…

1. Name of the game
Its full name is actually Brighton Palace Pier, with it regaining the Palace part in 2016 after new ownership restored it. In the 1800s it was known as Brighton Marine Palace and Pier.

2. Walk the plank
If every piece of wood that makes up the pier was laid out end to end, it would stretch on for 85 miles. That would take you more than a day to walk without rest!

READ MORE: The stories behind Sussex's piers

3. Battle stations ready
During World War Two, the pier was instructed by the war office to close as it could be targeted for foreign invasions. It was guarded at all times and a whole section had to be removed.

4. Paint job
The pier has 1,722ft of planking, which means it takes an enormous amount of time to repaint – in fact, every year it takes deck hands three months to complete.

5. Making the grade
In 1971 the pier was listed as a Grade II building. This is because it has historic significance, as the pier’s origins go back to the 1800s. 

6. Come one, come all

The pier regularly tops the charts in England as a popular tourist spot. In 2019 it attracted 4.9million visitors, making it the most visited free attraction outside of London.

7. Hall of fame
The World Atlas names Brighton Pier as the 6th most famous pier in the world, with Busselton in Western Australia, Pier 21 in Canada and Star Ferry Pier in Hong Kong taking the top spots.

8. Up in flames
In 2003 a fire erupted on Palace Pier, which was believed to be an arson attack. Firefighters had to approach the flames on foot as the pier was too narrow to drive the fire engine on.

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9. Three’s the magic number

The pier that currently stands in the city is the third to be built in Brighton. The Palace Pier replaced the original 1800s Chain Pier, and only the metal framework now remains of the West Pier.

10. Star power
It has featured in several films and television shows, such as Carry On at Your Convenience, The Persuaders, the Doctor Who serial The Leisure Hive and the 2007 Sweeney Todd

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